the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Classical Pieces for Beginner to Intermediate Level Bassists

    Classical Pieces for Beginner to Intermediate Level Bassists

    This week, Dr. D. tackles a reader's question about incorporating classical music into his practice routine. Q: I have recently started the switch to upright bass, I have been practicing technique and working my scales (pissing off my roommates) but I want to bring a third portion to my practice and incorporate some beginner classical… »

  • Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 3)

    Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 3)

    This week, we continuing the series on the making of Orchid, a custom bass by Rick Toone. If you missed it, check out Part 1 and Part 2. Trapezoid Neck Profile Ebony facing is glued to the headstock. Next, the fretboard, headstock and contours are precisely shaped, including the patented Trapezoid Neck Profile used on… »

  • Ready, Set… What To Play?

    Ready, Set… What To Play?

    Q: When I'm in jam situations and someone asks me to "kick it off" or start something, I just freeze and draw a blank. How do you know what to play? A: This is something we've all dealt with at some point. The problem is all in our minds. Our analytical and critical minds see… »

  • Willie Dixon: Preserving the Legacy

    Willie Dixon: Preserving the Legacy

    In today’s fast paced world it’s not uncommon for us to overlook the legacies of those who paved the way for so many bassists who came later. Thankfully, a new website dedicated to the life and legacy of Willie Dixon will help ensure the legendary bluesman’s landmark contributions to bass playing, the blues, and helping… »

  • Doing the Best You Can

    Doing the Best You Can

    Q: I tend to get very nervous before any live performance. How do you deal with performance anxiety? A: Everyone, at some point in their development, gets nervous before a gig or feels inadequate to the task at hand. It's natural. The best thing you can do is over prepare! Still, the nerves are there.… »

  • Technique Series: Pizzicato (Plucking) Exercises

    Technique Series: Pizzicato (Plucking) Exercises

    The simple, straightforward exercises below are the best I have seen to develop and maintain right hand pizzicato (plucking) on the upright bass. They isolate the technique to focus one just one thing: your right hand technique. There is certainly room in a practice routine to work on right hand/left hand coordination, or tricky patterns,… »

  • When the Song Plays Itself

    When the Song Plays Itself

    I just got back from a week spent in a recording studio in Northern California, a singer-songwriter session with Alice DiMicele. The band was absolutely smoking and we tracked 16 tunes in four days (complete with horns). The band included some guys who have been around the block quite a few times and have recorded… »

  • Soup or Sound (aka, the Diva Complex)

    Soup or Sound (aka, the Diva Complex)

    Although I was not asked a question relating to the following, a recurring theme came up in several conversations while at the NAMM show last week. I'd like to say first that I had no bad experiences with anyone while hanging at the show. I did hear some fans talk of a few negative experiences… »

  • Flying with an Upright Bass

    Flying with an Upright Bass

    Many bassists will, at some point, find it necessary to fly with their upright bass. Although a professional bassist should be able to play acceptably on any bass that is thrown at them, there are a number of reasons why we want to play our own instrument on the road. If you are doing anything… »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Music as a Language

    Ask Damian Erskine: Music as a Language

    Q: I often hear people speak of music as a language but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to relate to that idea and make it useful. Any thoughts? A: You're not alone. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I've been in the same boat you're in. I… »